Our priorities

Climate change

Hydropower is part of the solution to climate change and ensuring countries can reach net zero carbon emissions.

"We must not lose sight of the existential threats to our way of life posed by climate change"

- Roger Gill, President of IHA, writing in
IHA's Annual Report

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Overview

Hydropower provides clean electricity, with significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions than most other energy sources.  

By reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, hydropower avoids up to four billion tonnes of additional GHG emissions being emitted annually, versus coalfired generation.

Hydropower also supports the rapid growth of solar and wind power, thanks to the flexibility and storage it offers power grids that are increasingly reliant on variable power supply.

Beyond its power benefits, hydropower also provides water services. Reservoir storage capacity can be used for drinking water supply, irrigation and flood control. Increasing global water storage capacity is imperative to adapting to a warmer world and meeting growing water demand.

Like other types of infrastructure, hydropower is however starting to experience negative impacts due to climate risks. Water availability and hydropower generation are affected by changes in hydrological patterns and extreme weather events.

Our action

The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is working to build knowledge on renewable hydropower's contribution to climate mitigation and adaption.

Planning hydropower systems from a long-term, climate-resilient perspective will protect operations and infrastructure from future climate-related risks. 

To support owners, developers, governments and investors to plan, build, upgrade and operate facilities in the face of changing climatic and hydrological conditions, we recently published a Hydropower Sector Climate Resilience Guide.

We provide training and validation services for the GHG Reservoir (G-res) Tool, which is used to report on the carbon footprint of hydropower projects. The tool provides a cost-effective way to accurately assess net GHG emissions and was developed in collaboration with the UNESCO Chair for Global Environmental Change.

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Build climate resilience

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Report reservoir emissions

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IHA at COP26

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Blog: Climate action

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Good practice guidelines

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3/12/2020

New guidance to help improve the sustainability of river hydro schemes

Building a hydropower facility on a waterway will inevitably lead to some changes in downstream flows, with implications for river users and local ecosystems requiring responsible management.
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